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Release Date: July 5, 2002

Nicholas Penny Named Senior Curator of Sculpture at National Gallery of Art, Washington

Washington, DC—Nicholas Penny has been named as the National Gallery of Art’s senior curator of sculpture by Earl A. Powell III, director of the National Gallery. Penny’s appointment becomes effective on September 1, 2002, shortly before the Gallery’s 21 newly constructed sculpture galleries on the ground floor of the West Building open to the public. He will be involved in the installation of more than 800 works in the new galleries and will oversee the continuing work and growth of the Gallery’s sculpture department.

"Nick Penny is a brilliant curator and connoisseur with an outstanding track record of exhibitions and publications," said Powell. "We are delighted that he is assuming a key role in our curatorial ranks."

Since 1990 Penny has served as the Clore Curator of Renaissance Painting at the National Gallery in London and since 1998 he has also been keeper there. Between 1984 and 1989 he was keeper of the department of Western art at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford. He has been responsible for a wide range of exhibitions, including Florence in the 1470s and The Etchings of Lucian Freud.

His critically acclaimed three-volume scholarly catalogue of European sculpture in the Ashmolean Museum was published in 1992. His other publications include The Materials of Sculpture (Yale University Press 1993); the essential reference work Taste and the Antique (written with the late Francis Haskell and published by Yale in 1981); and Church Monuments in Romantic England (his first book, based on his doctoral thesis, which appeared in 1977). He has also published books, exhibition catalogues, and articles on picture frames and Italian Renaissance painting, and on Raphael, Sir Joshua Reynolds, and Richard Payne Knight. He reviews regularly for The Burlington Magazine and the London Review of Books.

Penny was educated at Saint Catharine's College, Cambridge, and at the Courtauld Institute of Art, where he received his doctorate in 1975. He taught art history at the University of Manchester from 1975 to 1982, when he took up a research fellowship at King's College, Cambridge. He was Slade Professor of Fine Art at Oxford in 1980-1981, and since 2000 he has been Andrew W. Mellon Professor at the National Gallery of Art’s Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts.

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